Schools in South East London

Three more schools in south-east to join innovative programme to boost science in schools

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The partners behind the INSPIRE scheme today congratulated three schools from the south-east as they achieved Specialist Science school status.

Education and Skills Secretary Charles Clarke yesterday announced that 40 schools nationally had been awarded specialist Science school status, following open competition.

The announcement of Science school status for St Gregory's, Kenton, Middlesex; The Heathland, Hounslow; and Stewards School, Harlow, means that the schools can now join the INSPIRE scheme to boost science in schools that is being piloted in London and the south-east.

Each school will benefit from sponsorship of UKP40, 000 from pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline, together with UKP100, 000 from the Government for capital projects, and an extra UKP123 per pupil for four years.

Meanwhile post-doctoral science researchers from Imperial College London will help with delivery of science lessons, giving pupils access to cutting edge scientific knowledge and fresh enthusiasm for their subject. They will also facilitate and deliver extra activities linked to the science school status, such as extra curricular activities and clubs.

The partners in INSPIRE (INnovative Scheme for Post-docs in Research and Education) - Imperial College London, GSK and the Specialist Schools Trust - gave the winners a warm welcome following yesterday's announcement.

INSPIRE Project Director and ex-head of science in a comprehensive school, Dr Nick Price said, "I have first hand experience of how the shortage of teachers limits both the teaching of science and the number of young students taking up careers in science. INSPIRE sponsors specialist schools, but more critically places young, motivated scientists into those schools to help them deliver on their specialist status. We hope that specialist status and funding coupled with enthusiastic scientists will really improve achievement in science, the numbers qualified in these subjects and increase the number of science teachers."

Katie Pinnock, Director of GSK's UK Corporate Contributions, said: "GSK is funding INSPIRE as part of its ongoing commitment to community programmes in the UK. Science education forms a key part of that commitment and is critical to the future success of high technology industries such as the discovery and development of pharmaceuticals."

Liz Reid, Chief Executive of the Specialist Schools Trust, said: "We are delighted to be involved with the INSPIRE project. Specialist schools are driving up standards in all areas of the curriculum and this programme has the potential to enhance science teaching even further."

Yesterday's announcement brings the number of schools involved in the INSPIRE pilot project to five. The schools join Ellen Wilkinson School for Girls in Ealing and Preston Manor High School in Wembley.


Interesting facts:

The Harris Girls' Academy East Dulwich is a City Academy secondary school in East Dulwich, London, England. The school opened in September 2006 and is part of the not for profit Harris Federation of South London Schools sponsored by Lord Harris of Peckham.

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